This new club on Wyndham Street is also a restaurant that serves up fine French food!
The thought of dining in a night club could seem rather strange to some. However, if you take into consideration just how extortionate the rent on Wyndham Street must be, then you can begin to understand why Privé Group’s Bungalow is both a restaurant and a night club.
Bungalow takes over the enormous space that was most recently Socialito, before which it housed the original Privé. I never went inside during its Privé days, but was truly surprised by the complete transformation since it was Socialito. Its black and white marble floor, huge chandeliers, spacious banquette seating and renaissance-style portraits give it an effortless elegance that is reminiscent of a glamorous Parisian restaurant.
The cocktail list is appreciably concise, offering a few classics and some more experimental options. We both opted for the refreshing gin-based Basil Instinct, made with lots of basil, ginger, ginger cognac and ginger ale.
The menu follows the theme of the design, offering classic French dishes with a contemporary twist prepared by head chef Steve Chou, who has worked at two renowned Michelin-starred restaurants in New York.
We began our meal with quite possibly one of the best versions of a beef tartare that I have ever tasted. Rather than stacked in a neat mound on the plate, chunks of dry-aged Mayura wagyu beef were gently seasoned with cumin and seated on a bed of shitake mushrooms on top of thick slices of toast, all sprinkled with crispy garlic crumbs. It was so good that I didn’t want it to end.
The slow-cooked and charred octopus came with red grapes, chorizo and apple, with a subtle harrissa dressing. It had a nice flavour and we enjoyed the contrasting sweet and salty touches, but the octopus itself had a bit more of a bite than perhaps it should have.
For the main course, the roasted scallops with green peas and carrots was cooked to complete perfection, yet the flavour was unfortunately a bit one-dimensional.
The beef short ribs on the other hand, were very good and had a beautiful texture. Although I never would have thought to grill romaine lettuce, this, too, was delicious.
Sides of truffled mashed potatoes and local charred corn were quite possibly even better than the mains and I had to stop myself from devouring spoonfuls of that creamy, rich mash.
As it had been my birthday just a couple of days before, the restaurant surprised me with a personalised birthday dessert, which is always a lovely touch. This simple apple tart had wonderfully buttery pastry and rounded off the meal perfectly.
As you can probably imagine, Bungalow isn’t a cheap dinner. A three-course meal will probably cost you $500 a head, without drinks. On a Wednesday night, we were some of the only people in the restaurant, although people did start to come in for drinks a little later. Perhaps people need to realise that they can head to Bungalow a little earlier, line their stomachs with some fine French food and then dance it all off afterwards!
Bungalow, Shop 2, G/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2623 7868, www.bungalow.hk